ATLANTA – The No. 43 Duke men’s tennis team played its seventh road match of the year against a top-20 team Friday at No. 17 Georgia Tech and led 3-2, but ultimately lost 4-3 at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex. With the match tied at 2-2 overall, the final three singles tilts went into third sets with Georgia Tech coming out on top in the final two.
Senior TJ Pura defeated Cole Fiegel 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to improve to 7-0 in ACC play and give the Blue Devils a 3-2 lead, but the Yellow Jackets picked up wins on courts two and four to clinch. It is the third consecutive year a three-set match on court two has given Georgia Tech a 4-3 victory against Duke. The Blue Devils have dropped three matches to top-17 teams by 4-3 final scores.
Georgia Tech took the doubles point with wins on courts two and three as two of the three matches went into the tiebreaker. The Yellow Jackets got the first victory with Michael Kay and Carlos Divar downing Pura and sophomore Catalin Mateas 6-2 on court three. With a 1-1 tie, Georgia Tech’s pair ran off four straight wins to take control before winning. Pura and Mateas dip to 5-2 overall and 4-2 in league action.
The remaining two matches were nearly identical as both were tied at each of the first six points and headed to the tiebreaker. Duke evened the doubles action on court one as freshmen Nick Stachowiak and Spencer Furman, the No. 81 team in the country, tallied a 7-6 (5) victory on court one against Christopher Eubanks and Carlos Benito. Stachowiak and Furman improve to 16-1 overall and 4-1 against league foes. The victory was Stachowiak’s 24th of the year in doubles, good for sole possession of eighth on the Duke all-time freshman doubles wins chart.
Court two finished the point in favor of the Yellow Jackets as Fiegel and Andrew Li inched past sophomores Ryan Dickerson and Jason Lapidus 7-6 (4). Dickerson and Lapidus fall to 6-5 overall and 2-5 in ACC play.
Duke was able to even the score at 1-1 as No. 102 Mateas defeated Benito 6-1, 6-1 on court three. A year ago in Durham, Mateas lost the final match to Benito in three sets. This time, Mateas was able to turn a 2-1 lead into a 6-1 first-set victory. The second set was even at 1-1 before Mateas ran off the final five games. Mateas becomes the third member of Duke’s 20-win club this season and bumps his record to 20-12 overall and 4-3 in league competition.
Georgia Tech regained the lead at 2-1 overall with No. 5 Eubanks topping No. 72 Furman 6-3, 6-4 on court one. Furman fell behind 4-1 in the first set and split the final four games, giving Eubanks the set. The second set had the two even at each of the first four points before Eubanks took the final two to capture the match. Furman is now 19-7 overall and 5-3 in ACC action.
The seesaw battle continued with Dickerson recording a 6-1, 6-4 victory against Daniel Yun on court six to even the match at 2-2 overall. Dickerson jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the opening set and held on. The second set had Dickerson turn a 1-1 tie into a 4-1 lead before Yun rallied to make it a 4-3 deficit. Dickerson won two of the final three games to secure the victory. He lifts his record to 17-6 overall and 5-3 against ACC competition. Dickerson is also 5-0 this season on court six.
Duke took its first lead of the evening when Pura downed Fiegel 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 on court five. The two were even through the first three points in the opening set before Fiegel took the last three games for the set. In the second set, Pura took a 3-0 lead and breezed to the win. The third set had Pura go up 3-1 early, but Fiegel won two straight to even the set at 3-3. From there, Pura won three of the final four games for the match. He ups his overall mark to 24-9 and league record to 7-0.
The Yellow Jackets answered again and evened the match at 3-3 when Divar held off Stachowiak 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. Stachowiak held a 3-1 lead in the opening set before Divar ran off three straight games to go up 4-3. Stachowiak responded to tie the set at 4-4, but Divar took the last two games. Stachowiak led 3-1 in the second set. Divar got a game back to trail 3-2, but Stachowiak won the final three games to force a third set. Stachowiak led 2-1 in the third set, but Divar won five straight to capture the match. Stachowiak slips to 27-10 and 3-5 versus ACC opponents.
In the deciding match, No. 89 Li held off freshman Robert Levine 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3. The first set was even at all six points and went to the tiebreaker that Levine captured. The second set had Li flip a 1-1 tie into a 4-1 advantage before holding on. In the third set, the two were even at 3-3 before Li tallied the last three games for the victory. Levine dips to 17-13 overall and 0-2 in league action.
Duke ends the weekend Sunday at Clemson with a 1 p.m. match.
No. 17 Georgia Tech 4, No. 43 Duke 3
April 7, 2017 at Atlanta, Ga. (Ken Byers Tennis Complex)
1. #81 Spencer Furman/Nick Stachowiak (DU) def. Carlos Benito/Christopher Eubanks (GT) 7-6 (7-5)
2. Cole Fiegel/Andrew Li (GT) def. Ryan Dickerson/Jason Lapidus (DU) 7-6 (7-4)
3. Michael Kay/Carlos Divar (GT) def. Catalin Mateas/TJ Pura (DU) 6-2
1. #5 Christopher Eubanks (GT) def. #72 Spencer Furman (DU) 6-3, 6-4
2. #89 Andrew Li (GT) def. Robert Levine (DU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-3
3. #102 Catalin Mateas (DU) def. Carlos Benito (GT) 6-1, 6-1
4. Carlos Divar (GT) def. Nick Stachowiak (DU) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2
5. TJ Pura (DU) def. Cole Fiegel (GT) 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
6. Ryan Dickerson (DU) def. Daniel Yun (GT) 6-1, 6-4
Duke 11-8, 4-4 ACC; National ranking #43
Georgia Tech 14-3, 6-1 ACC; National ranking #17
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (3,1,6,5,4,2)
Official: Darren Potkey T-3:10 A-153